A Community gathers to support Brooke
Volunteers put the hop in carhop during a fund-raiser at Sonic for a Eudora teen last Thursday.
Organizers were pleased with the turnout for the Brooke OGrady fund-raiser, even though they were caught off guard by the amount of early customers.
I dont think (the Sonic people) were expecting this many people all at once, said Marilyn Laws-Porter, one of the events organizers.
The volunteers were kept on the go delivering orders and the kitchen stayed in full swing. Despite the rush, Harold Stewart, manager of Sonic, kept the restaurants staff and the volunteers hopping. His wife, Andrea, also worked during the entire evening.
Some customers drove off because service was slow at times, but for the most part, patrons endured the wait for a worthy cause.
Although the mercury rose to 100 degrees and was slow in cooling off, those involved in the event werent surprised that the community came out in numbers to support one of their own.
There were a few mix-ups, but organizers say it was a successful event.
According to Stewart, the fund-raiser netted $1,900 from 4 to 10 p.m., ($1,200 in tips and games) which went to Brooke OGrady and her family. In addition, Sonic donated half of its sales proceeds from the evening, or $700. And, local resident Brian Snow of San Toku Kan, and class members gave karate demonstrations from 7:30 to 8 p.m. across the street on the south side of Nottingham Elementary School. They also collected donations for the cause.
Brooke participated at the event, which included children receiving balloons and, for a small donation, customers could try and win free prizes in putting and basketball contests.
Brooke was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease, a form of leukemia, in 1996. She has undergone several treatments and still has chemotherapy once a week. Although doctors gave her six months to live back in March, the teen-ager keeps an upbeat disposition and has surpassed the prognosis.
Michael Madsen, co-owner of Sonic, wanted to have the fund-raiser to help with the familys medical expenses and let Brooke have some fun money.
Members of the local Relay for Life organized the fund-raiser and several members of Holy Family Catholic Church, which the OGradys attend, volunteered for the event. Some Sonic staff members also volunteered their time.